Over the past 10 years there has been a growing need to introduce closed-loop control technology for vibration suppression of buildings subject to wind or earthquake disturbances. This paper deals with the investigation of the effectiveness of a fuzzy logic based time variable damping tuned mass damper (TMD) on a building structure undergoing free and forced vibrations. The uniqueness of this approach is the application of a robust, nonlinear fuzzy based controller to emulate a time-optimal control strategy. Fuzzy logic based time variable damping is introduced into a semi-active TMD in order to enhance its performance in the vibration suppression of buildings. First, a single story structure for three different vibration suppression approaches is studied. The fuzzy logic based time variable damping TMD (fuzzy TMD) is compared to the baseline passive TMD as well as a conventional proportional-derivative (PD) controller. Forced vibration is introduced using a resonant harmonic sinusoidal excitation (i.e. same frequency as the fundamental frequency of the structure). Finally, the fuzzy TMD is compared to the baseline for the free vibration of a 15 story structure. For both structures studied, MATLAB based simulation results show that the passive TMD and the PD, both constant gain approaches, provide similar results whereas the fuzzy TMD yields half the settling time. This effort clearly demonstrates the potential of a variable gain (damping) strategy for the vibration suppression of buildings.
This research was conducted within the framework of a National Science Foundation sponsored summer Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) students. This research considers small-scale and mathematical models of simple one-story structures that are subjected to free and base-motion excitations and installed with and without passive damping devices to gain an understanding of their dynamic behavior while reviewing active and semi-active damping means being applied and researched today. Using computer programming and numerical methods, the goal is to understand and counteract catastrophic disasters to structures caused by earthquakes. The research is broken down into a number of MATLAB simulations and experiments in order to understand basic dynamic and control features required to design earthquake resilient buildings. These experiments include free vibration experiments to test for the stiffness of columns for different heights and to test for the natural frequency and damping ratio of a one-story structure under different mass loads. Active PD control was then applied to an experimental system experiencing accelerations attributed to the Northridge 1994, Kobe 1995, El Centro 1940, and Mendocino 1992 earthquakes. Robustness comparisons were made between (1) P control; (2) D control; and (3) PD control for the above earthquake inputs to the shaker. A fuzzy logic controller was developed to effectively control transient vibrations. The uniqueness of this control concept is that the fuzzy control continuously varies the damping characteristics of a semi-active tuned mass damper (TMD). It was concluded that a fuzzy logic based TMD was more effective than a regular passive TMD, by providing half the settling times.